What Are MSSPs and Why They Are Important to Third-Party Security
What Are MSSPs?
MSSPs are managed security service providers that offer monitoring and management services related to cybersecurity. Many IT experts have partnered with MSSPs in the past, or plan to work with them in the future. As organizations understand more and more about the importance of risk mitigation, MSSPs are adding third-party security risk management services to their portfolios.
With the right MSSP, you can greatly improve your business’s cybersecurity, and possibly save money while doing it. But what exactly do MSSPs do, and how can you choose the right one for your company?
Typical Pillars of MSSPs
Let’s start by looking at the typical service offerings of MSSPs. Each MSSP is different, offering a different selection of services and expertise. However, these are some of the commonalities you’ll find:
- Onsite consulting. Most MSSPs begin their relationship with an onsite consultation where the MSSP performs a comprehensive review of your existing security architecture. This is especially important for new businesses or those that haven’t had a robust security strategy in the past. After this consultation, the MSSP may recommend key changes or advise on which services will be most important for the organization going forward. Regular audits may follow in the future.
- Security perimeter management. MSSPs typically handle perimeter management for the client’s network. Within this category is a host of different services, including installing, updating and maintaining products such as firewalls, email and your virtual private network (VPN). Your company should have security infrastructure in place to ward off the majority of attacks while your MSSP ensures that these security measures are sufficient or need adjustments. They may also be responsible for setting up things like email filtering and traffic filtering.
- Security monitoring. Your MSSP will typically provide managed security monitoring on a regular basis. In other words, they’ll be responsible for observing traffic patterns and user activity, and flagging unauthorized behavior. Anomalies could be an indication of a malicious hack, a denial of service (DoS) attack or a similarly destructive event; it’s your MSSP’s responsibility to notice them before it’s too late.
- Incident response. If your company is the victim of a malicious attack, you’ll need an MSSP to take action as quickly as possible. If you respond quickly and efficiently, you can often mitigate the damage—or even shut down the incident entirely.
- Penetration testing. While incident responsiveness is important, it’s even better to prevent incidents from occurring in the first place. That’s why most MSSPs offer penetration testing services to their clients. With penetration testing, MSSPs will attempt to simulate attacks and try to find vulnerabilities within the security perimeter. If vulnerabilities are found, they will put together a plan to correct them.
- Compliance monitoring. MSSPs may also offer compliance monitoring services, providing event logs for changes and intrusions.
The Benefits of MSSPs
So why would your business want to use an MSSP?
There are many benefits:
- Better security. The most obvious benefit, and the central motivator for most companies, is the promise of better security. Unless you have a robust, well-trained in-house IT team, working with an MSSP will likely provide you access to better products and services designed to keep your company’s infrastructure secure.
- Additional staff and resources. Many companies with in-house IT teams find they simply don’t have the staff members or resources necessary to do everything they want. Accordingly, MSSPs provide a kind of optional extension; you can use MSSPs to expand the capabilities of your security staff.
- Lower costs. MSSPs can reduce business costs in a few different ways. First, you can often hire an MSSP for less than it would cost to hire and manage an in-house team of your own. MSSPs often work more efficiently, and offer much lower prices. Second, using an MSSP reduces the possibility of suffering an expensive breach; you could potentially save millions of dollars by improving your security infrastructure.
- Focus shift. Working with an MSSP allows your organization, and especially your IT team, to change its focus. Rather than getting bogged down focusing on administrative tasks, you can shift your attention to security governance and other high-level issues.
- Flexibility. Most MSSPs are extremely flexible. They’re willing to offer a unique combination of products and services that fit your business, rather than forcing you into a stagnant package. You can work with an MSSP while your business is small and scale with them, and you can change your service plan whenever your business’s needs change.
- Adaptation. MSSPs are also highly motivated to stay up-to-date with the latest changes in the cybersecurity world. They’re constantly learning and fine-tuning their own approaches, and they’ll be willing to invest in new products, new services and new updates to keep you and your organization secure.
Strengthen Your Security Posture with MSSPs and Panorays
MSSPs are able to offer cost savings by offering a plethora of services spreading costs across a number of clients and creating customized solutions for your organization. While an MSSP can help you manage and improve your organization’s cybersecurity posture, it still doesn’t solve the problem of effectively managing your third parties. That’s why Panorays partners with MSSPs to bring third-party security management to SMBs.
Aligning your organization with the right MSSP and proper solutions will offer protection against modern-day threats to your organization. Bear in mind that your MSSP itself is a third party and your due diligence is required throughout your business relationship with them.
At Panorays, our objective is to help eliminate third-party risk caused by organizations’ strong dependence on its vendors. Our solution simplifies and streamlines third-party security risk management by making it easier for you to evaluate vendors and proactively avoid issues and threats before they compromise your organization.
For more information or to see how Panorays works, please request a demo today!